ISLAMABAD - Officials, religious scholars and social workers have advised the people to be extra careful in donating Zakat/charity during the holy month of Ramazan-ul-Mubarak as various banned outfits disguising as welfare organizations became active to collect money.
“Militant groups receive millions of rupees during the holy month each year and misuse the money to fulfill their designs, such as terrorising the people, spreading unrest and impeding investment in the country instead of helping the poor,” said Mohammad Usman, a social worker, while talking to APP.
He said Zakat was one of the basic pillars of Islam, which was meant to donate money to help the poor and needy. But militant groups through their charitable arms, took advantage and collect Zakat and donations fund for their terror activities, he added. As the holy month of fasting is to begin early next week, the terrorist groups in the guise of charitable organizations, have become active for grabbing donations, he said.
He said a public awareness campaign should be launched for educating people to donate money to only genuine organizations after confirming their credentials. There was a need to educate people to donate their hard earned money to right persons or organizations. The government should publish the names of banned organizations so that they could not collect charity, he added.
Former President Al-Khidmat Foundation Mohammad Ismael told APP that Zakat should be given after verification of the credentials of people and charitable organizations. He said Zakat or charity should not be given to banned organizations as it could be misused. It could only be given to organization, giving 100 percent assurance of its transparent use for good causes. The government should devise a comprehensive mechanism to monitor organizations collecting Zakat and donation and educate the people to donate the same to only deserving people and known organizations, he added. According to a report of Centre of Philanthropy Pakistani, about Rs 70 billion per annum is donated as Zakat, Sadqa and Khairat (charity). The prudent use of money can help overcome unemployment and abject poverty.
WFP TO CONTINUE DISTRIBUTION OF FOOD AMONG IDPS
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) will continue to provide food assistance to approximately half a million recently displaced families from North Waziristan who have left their homes and are staying in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (KPK) including Bannu, Lakki Marwat, D.I. Khan and Tank districts.
“We are working closely with the national and provincial authorities, civil society and our utmost priority is to provide food to all displaced people in the shortest possible time,” said Lola Castro, WFP Pakistan Country Director in a statement issued here. The Government of Pakistan has announced an additional contribution of 25,000 metric tons of wheat to WFP to continue providing food rations to all displaced people in KPK, including the families from North Waziristan.
With this contribution, WFP will be able to continue its relief assistance until early September; USAID has provided US$5.5 million to cover the cost of milling, fortifying and distributing the wheat.
WFP is distributing its standard food basket of fortified wheat flour, pulses, vegetable oil and iodized salt, as well as emergency rations of high-energy biscuits for children. Assistance is being provided from humanitarian hub established in Bannu and in Lakki Marwat. Plans are underway to establish further hubs and to operate from additional distribution points for NWA families in D.I. Khan and Tank.
According to the Disaster Management Authority in the area, around 36,000 families have been registered as displaced so far following an operation by Pakistani security forces in North Waziristan earlier this month.